28 Days Challenge for Waking Up Early: Make a Good Habit by Your Own
Are you an early riser? What time do you wake up every day?
All my life, I have never been an early riser. When I was in university, I would purposely choose classes in the afternoon so I can chat and play online games (namely Gunbound, Ragnarok Online, Maple Story, Avatar, Bounce, Sim City) with my friends till the wee hours and sleep in till the late morning. There were often times when I notoriously overslept and had to skip lectures/classes; I was late for tests/exams before as well and even missed a test because of the same reason (as luck would have it, I was able to get the test rescheduled).
When I was working, I would generally sleep at 1~2am and wake at 9~10am, depending on whether I was working in the office or from home (my previous company has a very flexible work culture). If there were 8 or 9am meetings, there was a certain likelihood I would oversleep and be late, as much as I tried not to be. During the weekends, I’d sleep in until 1~2pm.
Generally, whenever there was no external need to wake up early, I would sleep until very late.
Now that I’m not tied to a day-job, my sleeping hours have gone bonkers. Some days when I make a conscious effort to, I’d sleep at 12am and wake at 6am. However, if I have no coaching sessions or activities or with friends for the day, chances are I would sleep at 10:30am and wake up at 5:30pm. I’ve pretty much evolved into an owl!
If you are a regular reader and you read my wishlist before, you might recall one of them being cultivating the habit to wake up at 6am.
To be honest, waking up early had never been an interest of mine. I usually turned in late because there was always so much I wanted to do every day and I just hated it when I had to end the day off. By putting off sleep, it made me feel like I was being much more productive than if I had chosen to sleep earlier. Besides, I had friends from all around the world whom I could spend more time chatting with if I was up in the wee hours.
Whenever I heard about my friends waking at 6am, 7am, or even 8am on days where there was no obligation to do so, I would look at them incredulously. To me it was just an impossible task. Uh-uh. Why wake up so early for when you could sleep in late?
I’d long embraced my destiny as someone who slept late and woke up late. And I didn’t see anything wrong with that too. I didn’t see how waking up early or late would change anything about my life or make me any different as a person. I didn’t see how my success or accomplishments in life would, in any way, be hinged on a tiny little nuance like the time I wake up. I had been sleeping in late and waking late for the bulk of my life and it didn’t seem like it had in any way hindered me from achieving success in things I set out to do.
However, whenever I read personal development materials from critically acclaimed authors/teachers/gurus or interviews with highly successful and conscious people, they always talk about waking up early being a key building block for their success. Always. To date, I have neverread any one of them mention they sleep in late or that waking up early did nothing for their lives.
As someone who is passionate about being the best I can be, it is simply too hard for me to ignore this. Waking up early sounds like it is part of a gold mine for a more conscious, productive and better life. For a benign habit like this to seemingly be able to generate such powerful benefits – it has made me really curious. As much as I enjoy turning in at a later hour, it would seem that I have to at least try this out for myself, to see if the merits of waking up early are really as good as everyone raves about.
For the month of February starting first Feb, I’m going to conduct a 28-day trial to wake up at 5am every day. This is an hour earlier than 6am I initially stated in my wish list, because hey, might as well go all the way if I’m diving into this!
The main objective of this experiment are:
a) To identify the benefits (if any) of waking up early, at 5am
b) To identify how to successfully cultivate the habit of waking up early
If waking up early does indeed turnout to be as powerful and life changing as it is purported to be, then I would have found something that aids me in my quest for personal excellence. If it isn’t, then at the very least I would be able to tuck this behind me, knowing that I have tried it and it didn’t work for me. The worst thing that can happen is I had spent 28 days waking up early when I could wake up later. Not such a big deal to me.
As hard as it is going to be for someone like me (nocturnal for the past 11 years of my life) to cultivate this new habit, I’m going to do everything I can to pull this off. This is also going to be a great exercise to train my self discipline, which is also one of my wishlist.
I will drop in every now and then with updates on how the experiment is going in, via my site announcement updates and twitter (if you have Twitter, feel free to follow me as a friend and I’ll do the same! ) At the end of the experiment, I will determine if I want to continue the habit based on the results and wrap up the findings, results and conclusions of this trial with a follow-up article .
CHALLENGE START ON 9 JUL 2012
If you are the one who wake up late, and consider wake up early, please join in my challenge. Please drop your name or nick name here. Please share and let your friends in your network know about it, too. I hope everybody will join and make a different change to yourself.
- Leny Keo Wake up at 6 AM.
- Sao Minea Wake up at 6 AM
- Duch Raksmey Wake up at 6 AM
- Su Fei Wake up at 6 AM
- Tee Namgay wake up at 6AM